Kerry Charles RATANA 23/2/2022
Under section 21(2) of the Parole Act 2002
Kerry Charles RATANA
Hearing: 23 February 2022
at Tongariro Prison by Microsoft Teams
Members of the Board: Judge G F Ellis – Panel Convenor
Mr P Elenio
Mr C Roberts
In Attendance: [withheld] - Case Manager
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Kerry Charles Ratana, aged 35, is serving a sentence of 16 years and six months’ imprisonment, a cumulative sentence, for unlawful sexual connection with a female under 12, and manslaughter. His parole eligibility date was 22 March 2019 and his sentence expiry date is 21 June 2027.
- He was convicted of the sexual violation of the five-year-old [withheld] and then causing her death by crushing her chest and rupturing her heart. Although he denied the sexual violation, the post-mortem showed penetrative injury to her genitalia as well as a rupture of the heart.
- He had 42 prior convictions for violence, anti-social behaviour, driving offences alcohol‑related offending and property offences. He was last before the Board on the 25 February 2021. The Board noted that he had accepted the offending. The psychologist's recommendation had been for [withheld] before he was offered offence-related treatment.
- The Parole Assessment Report now before us advises that he is waitlisted for individual psychological treatment and that he had been taken off the list for the Sex Offender Treatment Programme. He has done a DTP and the Te Ihu Waka Tikanga programme, and he has done other educational and skills courses and is working on grounds maintenance.
- We have seen the psychologist’s report dated 1 February 2019. At that time Mr Ratana was denying the sexual element of the offending. He was assessed at a moderate risk of general offending but at a high risk of sexual reoffending. The psychologist gave opinion that the Kia Marama Adult Sex Offender Treatment Programme was indicated, but that he needed one-to-one work to overcome responsivity barriers.
- Mr Ratana told us that he is willing to do treatment but that he had been advised that he could not do a group programme because of his [withheld]. That issue is however being addressed first and, if he is adequately treated and [withheld], he told us that he was still open to doing a group programme.
- Mr Ratana's conduct on the unit has been somewhat erratic. There are many notes of verbal altercations with staff and other prisoners that have led to an increase in his security classification from low to low/medium. The PCO, however, told us that he was doing well, that he knows what his problems are and knows what he needs to do to work on them. The PCO said that they were trying to keep him busy with work and exercise.
- Mr Ratana engaged directly with the Board. He accepted that there is considerable work yet ahead of him and he did respond to some challenging questions about the nature of his offending, acknowledging that he has work to do to address the issues behind his choices to act as he did.
- In the view of the Board, there is much work ahead of Mr Ratana. He needs to address those preliminary barriers to appropriate treatment and then to undergo a serious intervention directly related to his offending, not only the immediate index offending but a troublesome pattern of earlier offending. And he needs to develop a release proposal and to undertake a period of re-integrative activity. Until all this work has been completed, he will continue to pose an undue risk, and, for the present, parole is declined.
- In the view of the Board that work is going to take some considerable time and there is more than five years yet on his sentence. However, to encourage Mr Ratana with the motivation he is currently expressing towards treatment, the Board will see him again in 18 months to review his progress, a date to be set before the end of August 2023.
Judge G F Ellis